Tech Beat: Helmsley Building to be lit every night with new energy efficient lighting system
One of New York City's and one of the world's most recognizable buildings, 230 Park Avenue, also known as The Helmsley Building, will, for the first time, be lit up every night. But the building won't just be lit with any lights. Our Adam Balkin has more.
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The Helmsley Building will be lit every night with an energy efficient, color changing, computer controlled LED light system, one that's not terribly different from what we see each year on the Times Square New Year's ball.
"Right now the building kind of fades into the background," said Al Borden of The Lighting Practice. "The building's going to pop, it's going to stand out and it's going to be visible from 40 blocks away, something that's never been this way before."
In addition to looking pretty, this also sends an important message that if older, historic and iconic buildings like the Helmsley Building, like the Empire State Building as well, can take drastic measures to become more environmentally friendly, then there's no reason why every other building in the world can't do the same.
"LEDs give us a dynamic affect that wouldn't be possible with any other light source," Borden said. "So not only do we get a nice crisp appearance for the building, but we also get this ability to make a change, make it entertaining and make it fun."
"Typically what we're going to do is we'll come up with one static look. It'll stay that way for 20 minutes or 27 minutes and then there will be a three minute dynamic change into a different color set," Borden said.
In 2010, after a more than $100 million renovation, 230 Park became the first pre-war office building in the Big Apple to earn Gold Leed status, an internationally recognized designation for being an environmentally friendly building.
The exterior LEDs are just the latest green touch to, literally, highlight the progress here.
"What's relevant about the LEDs is they're highly energy efficient," said Anthony Westreich of Monday Properties. "In fact, these bulbs are 71 percent more efficient than the bulbs we had in here prior to."
The lighting crew here says since this system is highly programmable, the exterior can, and will, go from tame to wild depending on the season.